Healthy Whole Wheat Pancakes for Two (Option for Vegan)

A while back, I bought four 5lb bags of Bob’s Redmill 100% Whole Wheat Flour. You may think I’m crazy, but it was a good deal! So, many many months later (possibly nearing one year), I still have three bags. Normally I have a fruit smoothie with flax seed in the morning, but I’ve decided to tackle my cravings for delicious, sweet, filling food by using that whole wheat to make pancakes!
If you like a lot of sweetness, you may want to add more sweetness by substituting the topping for something you’d prefer. As for me, I’m trying to stay away from sugar so this recipe is just sweet enough for my morning breakfast. Also, there’s a whopping 13 grams of protein in it!


1 cup – 100% whole wheat flour
1 cup – vanilla coconut milk
(Add an extra splash for desired consistency)
1 large egg*
1 tbsp – your fav healthy oil
1/2 tsp baking powder**
1/4 tsp baking soda**
Cinnamon for taste
Salt for taste
Drizzle of agave

8 frozen strawberries
Splash of vanilla coconut milk
Drizzle of agave

*Vegans – you know what to do! Substitue with applesauce, greek yogurt, etc. Substitutions are easy. You can’t really mess up pancakes as long as you have the right consistency and proportions.
**Baking powder and baking soda are peculiar to me. I’m still not 100% sure of the difference, but I’ve just used baking powder here. Just a dash. I’ve never had a problem with this as long as you don’t put too much of one of the two powders.

1. Blend all ingredients for the batter in a medium bowl until smooth
2. Heat pan on medium heat with oil, butter, or non-stick spray.
3. Scoop 1/4 cup portions of the patter into the pan and cook until the edges start to cook through and the bubbles on top of the pancakes start to pop. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown. Here’s a tip I’m learning: I tend to overcook my pancakes thanks to uneven heat. It’s a pain, but I adjust the heat low when it gets too hot so the pancakes cook slower and don’t burn.
4. Repeat step 3 until all your pancakes are cooked.
5. While you’re making the pancakes, blend in the ingredients for the strawberry topping in a small blender (I use my nutribullet). It’s just enough sweetness to give the pancakes something delicious and gives them the perfect moistness.

How to Shop with Meal Planning

Living in New York is expensive. Some of you may not realize just how expensive it is. To give you an idea, to rent a studio in the city is easily $2,000 or more per month. Just to move in, generally a deposit of 1.5, sometimes 2.5, times rent is required.

Most young adults will get their dinners online, through nearby delis, and pizza shops. I don’t even want to know how expensive their eating habits get. I hardly ever go out for dinner these days. Usually only when it’s free, or my boyfriend and I are spending some quality time out.

I get along with a little over $25 per week on groceries. At the end of each month, my food costs usually end up around $100 – $125. In New York, that’s cheap!! $25 is enough to buy some veggies, staple foods like almonds and quinoa that last a while, and a few other items for creating a recipe. Anywhere else, I’d probably only be spending $50 – $70 a month for what I get!

Here’s the secret to saving on food (while eating healthy). Cook your own food, do not buy extra junk food in the middle isles (or only very rarely), and plan out your meals!

How do I plan my meals?
Well, it does help that I’m always thinking of food and what food I can throw together next. The way I meal plan is on a week to week basis, considering fruit and vegetables only last 1-2 weeks in the fridge.

Each week, I find recipes and decide what I will be eating for the entire week. I’ve been doing my meal planning this way long enough now that it comes pretty naturally to me. I itemize everything I need to buy for the recipes and I make sure I  will have enough ingredients for a large batch. Usually I pick out one lunch and one dinner, with some spare veggies/snack food and backup food in case the recipes I make don’t last a week. However, usually they last longer.

So, find your recipes, decide what you need to tide you over for the week, and plan on a shopping trip.

Should I buy sale items?
Who doesn’t love a good food sale? Buy sale items when you can, but only when you need them. For example, I buy oatmeal for breakfast and go through a lot. Whenever I can find cheap oatmeal, I will stock up. Stocking up on sale items that you NEED and usually buy saves you money in the long run, even if you go over your budget for the week. It will even itself out in the following weeks.

Don’t be tempted to buy sale items that you wouldn’t normally buy, or that you don’t need. It’s a waste of money and a gimmick!

How do I plan with a specific budget?
As I said before, I spend around $25 per week on groceries. It’s not easy, though. I have to plan out this budget. With enough practice, you will begin to learn how much food a certain budget will get you and how much each food item you will normally be buying costs.

While I’m meal planning, I’m also considering the costs of each item I add to my grocery list. Higher priced items such as bulk food (rice), qunioa, and almonds add up quick so I try to buy only one or two of these per week. Remember, this is New York we’re talking about. The food here is very expensive, so I keep my personal food shopping very minimal.

At the store, I prioritize my grocery list. I grab what I really need first and I add up the exact prices on a calculator on my phone. That way, I know how close I am to meeting my budget. Once I have the items I really need, I start looking at items I can stock up on and fill the remaining money left over in my budget. Items I want to buy, to stock up on, or ingredients in a recipe that I was going to skimp out on.

Sometimes, if I need, I let my budget go slightly over, especially if it has been two or more weeks since food shopping.

Where do I find recipes to meal plan?
I find most of my meal-planning inspiration on Pintrest! The plethora of recipes there are endless and searching for a specific type of meal is so easy! Or, if I’m craving a particular food, I’ll search online the week before I go shopping and find a recipe I want. Then I just write down the ingredients I will need to buy for my shopping list.

Should I substitute ingredients with cheaper items?
When I can, I do substitute ingredients a lot. Often, I will also leave ingredients, such as uncommon spices, out unless I think it’s something I will use a lot of in the future. For example, if I were to make lasagna or a lasagna-type dish, I would use small curd cottage cheese instead of ricotta. I love ricotta, but it’s hard to afford items like this on a tight budget. Do note that I forgo taste more often than the healthfulness and cheapness of a dish. But even though I substitute and skip ingredients, my food tends to still turn out tasty!


Note that these answers are based on the opinions of  a health-conscious young adult with no one else to support and a very small budget. I believe children/dependents would change the rules a bit, but you could modify them to fit your needs. Also, if I had more money to spend on food, I probably would buy nicer stuff and make fancier recipes. But I would still have a budget.

I hope you find these tips as useful as I do!

Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (: